Axios San Antonio

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Today's newsletter is 899 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: We're getting scammed

Illustration: AΓ―da Amer/Axios

Texans lost over $1 billion to internet scams last year, ranking second behind California in cases reported to the FBI and tracking with population size.

The big picture: Americans lost over $12.5 billion to cybercriminals in 2023, according to new FBI data.

  • Investment fraud was the costliest cybercrime reported nationally, jumping 28% since 2022.
  • Americans also had roughly $1.3 billion in 2023 taken by scammers pretending to be from the government or tech support, the FBI says.

How it works: Scammers pretend to be a government official, tech support agent or customer service representative to trick people into sending money or other sensitive information.

  • The impersonators typically call with fake stories that motivate someone to share their private identifiable details.

Zoom in: The FBI received 47,305 complaints from Texans last year.

  • Last month, the U.S. Marshals Service and FBI alerted San Antonians of spoofers using government phone numbers to collect fines.
  • Some individuals were contacted by people claiming to be a U.S. marshal for the Western District, under Susan Pamerleau β€” a familiar name for many San Antonians.
  • Scams can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission.

The intrigue: Fake job offers are among the most prolific and fastest-growing scams in the U.S., with some scammers reaching out to people about freelance opportunities over texts.

Reality check: People of all ages are susceptible to scams β€” not just the elderly. Only 40% of those who fell for tech support scams were reported by the FBI to be over age 60.

The bottom line: Many victims won't call the police after a scam or cyberattack because of either shame over falling for the ruse or fear of retaliation, but the FBI encourages reporting.

2. Biden's "nuclear" border option

Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden is still considering harsh executive actions at the border before November's election, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Legal, logistical and political risks are constantly being weighed. Any new surge in border numbers could add urgency for what one administration official described as the nuclear option, Axios' Stef W. Kight writes.

  • "The bullet's in the chamber," said another source familiar with the planning.
  • Border numbers fell in January and only ticked up slightly in February. But crossings historically rise in the spring and summer, which could put more pressure on the administration to take more drastic measures. That, however, would upset some Democrats.

Zoom in: The orders being considered would ban people from entering the U.S. if they illegally crossed the border and make it harder for people to pass the first interview in the asylum-seeking process, as has been reported.

What they're saying: "No executive action, no matter how aggressive, can deliver the significant policy reforms and additional resources Congress can provide and that Republicans rejected," a White House spokesperson told Axios.

  • "We continue to call on Speaker [Mike] Johnson and House Republicans to pass the bipartisan deal to secure the border."

Read more

3. Inside the Loop

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🍷 A full collection of Rock & Hammer, the small-batch wine by Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, will be up for sale for the first time through an auction supporting a Kansas City museum. Remote bids will be accepted. (ESPN)

πŸ₯™ Chef's Table Turkish Mediterranean Grill recently opened its second location in Helotes. The popular flagship restaurant is on Babcock. (SA Current)

πŸ’²San Antonio's Migrant Resource Center, which had been in danger of running out of money by September, received financial support from the $1.2 trillion funding package signed by President Biden over the weekend. (Express-News πŸ”’)

4. ☁️ Stat du jour: Eclipse cloud cover

Data: ERA5 data via Copernicus Climate Data Store; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

The total solar eclipse on April 8 is coming, whether the sky is clear or not.

State of play: With people traveling from all over for the event, they're going to want a good view β€” not one ruined by clouds.

  • Historically, Texas offers them a pretty good bet.

By the numbers: San Antonio averages about 55% cloud cover on April 8, according to data from 1994 to 2023 from the Copernicus Climate Data Store.

  • That's better than other eclipse cities like Cleveland and Indianapolis, where the cloud cover averages 63% and 61%, respectively.

The big picture: Texas tends to have the least cloudy skies of any state in the path of totality.

  • Austin averages about 54% cloud cover on April 8, while Dallas averages 50%.

The bottom line: The odds are in our favor, but anything can still happen with the weather.

  • Cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Share with an eclipse watcher

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5. πŸ“Έ S.A. snapshots: Pawty pups

Four-legged Fiesta fans. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

πŸ‘‹ Madalyn here with a picture to get the Fiesta zoomies started.

State of play: San Antonio is less than a month away from its biggest celebration.

  • The Fiesta Commission marked the quickly approaching social calendar last week with a media day attended by Fiesta royalty, including King Anbarkio Scout and her King Anbarkio in Waiting, Bacon (both pups are female).

Between the lines: Scout and Bacon represent Therapy Animals of San Antonio, a nonprofit that provides support throughout the community.

  • Scout volunteers at children's literacy groups, the Bexar County Courthouse and special events. She and her human, Christine Golub, also serve on the Crisis Animal Response Team.
  • Bacon and her human, Chris Puckett, spend their extra time at Methodist Texsan and Methodist Children's hospitals. They're also part of the Crisis Animal Response Team.

What's next: Meet Scout, Bacon and their friends at the Fiesta Pooch Parade, which is the group's biggest fundraiser and an official Fiesta event, on April 27.

The bottom line: Fiesta is furr everybody.

Thanks to our editor Chloe Gonzales and copy editors Steven Patrick and Yasmeen Altaji.

Congratulations to our Friday news quiz winners Meagan S. and Delia R.

🀠 Madalyn is counting down the days until the release of Beyonce's "Cowboy Carter" album.

πŸ’…πŸΌ Megan recently enjoyed going to Asiana Nails Lounge, where a pedicure comes with a free drink.